If your dog is urinating frequently, drinking more or has suffered from numerous kidney infections, he may be in the early stages of kidney failure. If your holistic vet makes this diagnosis, there are a few herbal options available to support the kidneys.
According to herbalist Greg Tilford, the main goal of herbal support is to increase the blood flow to the kidneys. He theorizes that the kidneys are critically oxygen dependent and sensitive to poor circulation. He recommends the following herbs:
- Hawthorn (increases renal circulation)
- Ginkgo (dilates and improves the tonicity of the blood vessels in the kidneys and reduces inflammation of the urinary tract)
- Echinacea (works as an anti-bacterial)
- Marshmallow (reduces inflammation)
- Dandelion leaf (increases urine output)
You can prepare a recipe for your dog by combining equal parts of each of the above herbs in tincture. Give a 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds twice daily, away from meals if possible.
Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh drinking water. Other herbs that might be useful include alfalfa (increases the alkalinity of the urine), astragalus (strengthens kidney circulation), goldenrod (a kidney tonic), and couch grass (soothes inflammation and is easy on the kidneys).